Top Ten Tuesday

10 Unpopular Bookish Opinions

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Today, we are chatting about unpopular bookish opinions. I've seen a few videos on Youtube sharing bookish opinions. There's even a tag that I may do one day.


I don't know how many of these are unpopular opinions. And it was unexpectedly difficult to come up with all ten. Let me know which ones you agree or disagree with. Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week's topic is: 10 Unpopular Bookish Opinions:

I adore love triangles.

love triangle hearts GIF by Visual Num Nums

Sometimes the movie is better than the book.

time travelers wife love GIF

Audiobooks are great if listened at double speed.

I cannot listen to audiobooks at normal speed. I just can’t. The narrator always speaks too slow and usually monotone. I can’t hold my focus from one sentence to the next on such a speed. So, double or even 3x speed it is.

Audiobooks are great except in the car.

For some reason, I get motion sickness when I listen to audiobooks in the car. I can listen to music. It’s just something about the steady narration that makes me dizzy.

Black matte on covers are the worst since it picks up fingerprints so easily.

I've read the entire Harry Potter series but wouldn't call any of them favorites. The sixth one is the best, though.

I think this would be different if I had started the series as they were coming out (as if I grew up as Harry grew up in the books). I discovered Harry Potter in middle school, a few months before the seventh book was releasing. And I actually read the series starting at the sixth, since that’s all my library owned. The Half Blood Prince and The Prisoner of Azkaban are the best of the series.

Deckled edges are awesome!

Binge reading series is just not for me.

  baby book story reading GIF

I can usually read two books in a row before I have to go on to something else. Unless it’s a duology, I couldn’t complete an entire series in a binge-read. I’d much rather come after a bit of a break to check in with all my favorite characters.

Eleven or more books in a series is too long.


Yes, I’m looking at you, Morganville Vampire series and House of Night books. They’re just too long. And at this point, I’m struggling to finish all the books.

I tend to wait for the hype to die down before starting the book.

If there’s a lot of hype surrounding a book, I’m going to wait for it to dissipate before diving in myself. Hype adds extra expectations because if everyone else loves this, I’m going to love this too. Here’s a few books I haven’t read (but plan to) because of the hype:


Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor | Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas | Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare

What are some of your unpopular bookish opinions?

book review

Serious Case of Wanderlust | Wanderlost by Jen Malone

Friday, June 07, 2019

Wanderlost by Jen Malone

Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: 5/31/16
Pages: 321
Source: purchased

Not all those who wander are lost, but Aubree Sadler most definitely is on this novel’s whirlwind trip through Europe. Aubree can’t think of a better place to be than in perfectly boring Ohio, and she’s ready for a relaxing summer. But when her older sister, Elizabeth, gets into real trouble, Aubree is talked into taking over Elizabeth’s summer job, leading a group of senior citizens on a bus tour through Europe. Aubree doesn’t even make it to the first stop in Amsterdam before their perfect plan unravels, leaving her with no phone, no carefully prepared binder full of helpful facts, and an unexpected guest: the tour company owner’s son, Sam. Considering she’s pretending to be Elizabeth, she absolutely shouldn’t fall for him, but she can’t help it, especially with the most romantic European cities as the backdrop for their love story. But her relationship with Sam is threatening to ruin her relationship with her sister, and she feels like she’s letting both of them down. Aubree knows this trip may show her who she really is—she just hopes she likes where she ends up.
Aubree has always been happy staying right at home. It has always been her sister who goes to far away places. But when Elizabeth, Bree's sister, can't make her promised engagement—being a tour guide in Europe—she comes up with a master plan. Bree must go in her stead and pretend to be Elizabeth. However, when Bree meets the boy of her dreams, can she keep her true identity to herself or will she blab at the first opportunity?

Aubree: Relatable Yet Amusing

  • Aubree is constantly ratting herself out, feeling less capable than her "almost-perfect" sister. It's completely normal to feel like the older sister can do no wrong. I don't completely understand that notion as I am the older sister in my family but that is the dynamic going on in Wanderlost. And as much as I do believe it is normal in some sister relationships, I definitely couldn't relate to it. Aubree and Elizabeth's sisterly relationship is super shaky. I can't imagine living under the same roof as a sibling my entire life and not knowing each other at all. Aubree keeps mentioning how far apart four years is between her and her sister. However, I don't think that is that far apart (my brother and I are five years apart and we are friends). In the beginning, the whole sister relationship seems so strange to me.
season 1 sisters GIF
  • As much as I can't relate to Aubree's relationship with her sister, I can definitely relate to her as a character. She's the awesome side of everyone. I found her sarcasm to be spot on. Not only is she hilarious but she's got spunk that will definitely remind you of yourself. Everything in her character is on point.
  • Elizabeth comes up with this plan. And here she is, she is supposed to intelligent and awesome—and basically the epitome of put-together. Her plan is far from foolproof. The moment she explained it to Aubree, I knew something was going to go wrong. Either I was right or I am just pessimistic like that. Or both.
  • And by wrong, I was so surprised when no one seemed to mention that Bree is committing crimes left and right. She is too young to drink in Europe. She is using her sister's passport at every ID checkpoint. This girl is going to be in trouble with the law.

Wanderlust

  • I love everything wanderlust. I have a serious case of wanderlust myself. I even have my own wanderlust bookshelf which consists of amazing adventures like Flirting in Italian, Love and Gelato, Meant to Be, and Just One Day. I was so happy when I came across this majestic book. And Wanderlost turned into everything I could have hoped for.
  • If you want to get technical, we have seen this plot before. Wanderlost and a lot of other similar books rely on cliché ridden plots to continue. And they do so because these clichés work. Yes, at times they can be super predictable but that doesn't make them any less fun. When I first picked up the book, all I could think about were the similarities it had to the movie, My Life in Ruins. The movie holds many components Wanderlost had: a bus tour through Europe, a wise old man, and a bus driver who doesn't speak much English. However, despite its similarities, I think they complement each other well (even though, I am sure that was not Malone's intention). After reading Wanderlost, be sure to watch My Life in Ruins.
  • Aubree happens to complain a lot, but considering her situation it makes perfect sense. It is what makes her so human, I suppose. However, I am incredibly glad that she does take the time to appreciate her surroundings. The tour through Europe is not totally wasted on her and we get to see Aubree fall in love with traveling.

Instalove

  • What kind of YA travel romance would it be without the romance part? It is kind of instalove-ish. What started out as flirtatious phone conversations quickly became an instalove, where instead of focusing on learning more about the other person, let's just make out all the time. The scenes they share—where they are not making out—are undeniably cute with a quick banter back and forth. It is easy to see how fast they could have fallen for each other but less than two weeks! Isn't that a bit fast?
  • Oh, my gosh, though. Sam is such a dream guy. He is understanding, flirty without being creepy, and super cute. His character's charisma is certainly contagious which will definitely leave a smile on your face as you're reading.

An End to Remember

  • The ending came too fast! Also, it felt a bit too abrupt but no less realistic. However, the direction in which the ending headed was perfectly believable.
  • Despite the ending being too abrupt, it didn't turn out to be the 24/7 romance you would expect. It wasn't about the romance at all, but more about Bree's development and her going into the unknown all by herself. That is most definitely not something she would have done in the beginning of the book. Jen Malone could very well give us a sequel (please!) as I believe she left it open for a new chapter in Bree's life that I definitely would love to explore.
im going on an adventure flinch GIF

Overall

Wanderlost by Jen Malone is a gorgeous trip into the unknown with a character who wants anything to just stay at home. Malone places the perfect amount of humor, travel, and romance to create a beautiful read for those suffering from wanderlust.


Top Ten Tuesday

10 Books from My Favorite Genre | Fantasy

Tuesday, June 04, 2019

Calculating all those end of the year statistics last year really opened my eyes on some things. Like how my two favorite genres, the books I tend to pick up most, are fantasy and contemporary. And here I always say how I need to read more fantasy but the numbers showed that both genres were close to even last year. Since I had a blast putting this list together, I may do a part 2 for the contemporary genre as well.


I was on the fence of what kind of books to showcase in my favorite genre. So I ended up sharing 5 of my favorites that I don't mention too often and 5 upcoming releases that I am so excited for. Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week's topic is: 10 Books From Your Favorite Genre:

5 Fantasy Favorites


Reign the Earth by A.C. Gaughen: My favorite book of the last year was no contest. Hands down, Reign the Earth was such a beautiful, inspiring, empowering fantasy like I've never read before. It was fantastic and if the publisher wants to give us 10 more in the series, I would not be opposed.

Legacy of Kings by Eleanor Herman: A retelling of Alexander the Great before he was great, yes please. This series concluded last year and it was such a magnificent ride. If you're into fantasy with a tiny amount of magic, this is your book.

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas: I rarely talk about this one since it always seems like someone is talking about this one. It's a hyped series but all that hype is well-deserved. The first book starts off as a Beauty and the Beast retelling that quickly becomes a well-structured fantasy that is sure to pull at your heartstrings.


Reawakened by Colleen Houck: I'm still peeved over how the series ended but the first two books were amazing. Reawakened follows Lily as she discovers Amon sleeping in an artifact crate in a history museum. He claims to be an ancient Egyptian Prince who awakes every thousand years and must be reunited with his brothers before the world is overrun by darkness.

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo: I don't talk about this one nearly enough. Another hyped series that is so worth it. An amazing cast of characters, phenomenal heist plot, and Bardugo's writing will make people who don't read fantasy, love the genre.

5 Upcoming Fantasy Releases


Lifestyles of Gods and Monsters by Emily Roberson (10/20/19): In this retelling of the Minotaur, several teens journey into a maze to defeat the monster-- all for television fun. Ariadne, the host, has fallen for one of the contestants who tries to persuade her into helping him kill the monster. Yet, killing the monster would endanger her family's television empire. Only the gods know what she'll do.

The Beautiful by Renee Ahdieh (10/8/19): Yes, Renee Ahdieh is bringing vampires back into the YA limelight. And I'm so ready for it!

The Lady Rogue by Jenn Bennett (9/3/19): It's been Theodora's dream to embark on a journey with her treasure hunter dad but when his right hand man shows up on her doorstep without him, Theodora must journey with him instead. In hopes on shedding some light on her father's whereabouts, they follow his latest quest, hunting down a magical ring that belonged to Dracula himself.


Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim (7/9/19): A girl poses as a boy to compete for the imperial tailor position. She must do the impossible and create three magical dresses, sewn from the sun, the moon, and the stars. This one is marketed as Mulan meets Project Runway and I am so here for all that!

Gravemaidens by Kelly Coon (10/29/19): The king is dying—and Kammani’s sister is one of the few who were chosen to die with the king to serve him in the afterlife. Kammani, a healer, vows not to let the king die in order to save her sister from such a fate.

What is your favorite genre?

Tackling my TBR

Tackling My TBR: June 2019

Monday, June 03, 2019

Tackling My TBR is a monthly post, where I share my reading plans for the upcoming month. The concept of a TBR Jar is not a new one. I’ve seen it used in various ways throughout the bookish community. My jar will be a little different. The goal is to read the older books on my to-read pile. Thus, instead of putting individual book titles on a small sheet of paper to place in the jar, I wrote a month and a year on each. Each month, I intend to pull three sheets of paper from my jar which will dictate which three books I will read. The dates on the paper correspond with the date I added those books to my Goodreads account. Some months will have over 20 books to choose from, when others may have only one. From Goodreads, I’ll choose the three books from the three different monthly hauls. And if I cannot complete the book within the month, it will be unhauled (with the exception of one pass each month).



In May, I tackled books from my January 2015, February 2018, and January 2013 book hauls. I was out for a few weeks during the month, recuperating from my wisdom teeth removal. However, I was still able to get two of the three books completed. Death Comes to Pemberley by P.D. James has been on my shelf for forever and I finally picked it up! It was less of a who-done-it mystery and more of a crime drama… not what I really wanted. Unfortunately, I missed One Paris Summer by Denise Grover Swank but now that we are getting into summer, I have no doubt that I will read it in the coming months anyway. In May, I read Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. It’s the first classic I picked up this year and it was okay. Previously I read The Mystery of Edwin Drood by Dickens and I did enjoy Great Expectations much more than that one. Hopefully, I can get to more classics soon. Next up is Mansfield Park!

From the jar, I picked October 2011, June 2016, and October 2017 book hauls. From there, I chose the following books:


Last Breath by Rachel Caine: This one is haunting my tbr. It comes popping out of nowhere. And this series just seems so never-ending. However, I do enjoy seeing what shenanigans Claire and the gang get up to each book.

Vampire Knight vol. 12 by Matsuri Hino: It’s been almost five years since I picked up a Vampire Knight book. And it’s about time. I remember loving this manga series. All the vampires and the boarding school setting makes the books so addicting. Plus, the art is fantastic!

Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon: I wasn’t expecting to choose an Outlander book. I read each book and then watch the correlating season. So, I still have season 3 of the TV show to watch before I can dive into Drums of Autumn, the fourth book. Hopefully, I’ll get to it this month!

Buzzword Readathon

The Buzzword Readathon is hosted by booktubers: Kayla from BooksandLala and Chanelle from ChanelleTime. Here’s the announcement for the readathon. This readathon takes place on June 12th to the 18th. The buzzword this time around is “you.” Participants must read books with “you” or a variation (your, you’re, etc.) in the book title. This is me keeping my options open but hopefully I’ll finish at least 4 of the following:


All Your Perfects by Colleen Hoover | Always Never Yours by Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka | You Are Here by Jennifer E. Smith


This Is How I'd Love You by Hazel Woods | Love the One You're With by Emily Giffin | The Season of You & Me by Robin Constantine


When You Were Mine by Rebecca Serle | This Is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper

What are you planning on reading this month?

kickin' it

Kickin' It: May 2019 Wrap Up

Friday, May 31, 2019


Kickin’ It is a feature at The Bucket List where I round-up the whole month in one post, bringing you reviews you may have missed, other awesome bookish things, and even what I’m currently obsessed with in other media besides books. May was okay. Actually, in life terms, it was a pretty meh month. I had all four of my wisdom teeth taken out and despite having people tell you how relaxing it’ll be because you get to eat ice cream for a whole week, it was brutal. Plus, I didn’t read for that whole week—basically I just slept a lot. In reading terms, May was great in quantity but just okay in quality. Here’s what I read in May:


The Way You Make Me Feel by Maurene Goo (4 stars): At first, I wasn’t sure if I was going to like this because Clara, the protagonist, is a class clown and tends to take things too far. However with the wonderful character arc, the food truck competition, and the great writing, The Way You Make Me Feel brought some amazing summer vibes. I loved it!

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens (3 stars): I finally got to a classic! Every year, I make it a goal to finish a few classics by the end of the year. Great Expectations was fine. I’m happy I finally read it and it was by far better than The Mystery of Edwin Drood.

From Twinkle, With Love by Sandhya Menon (3.5 stars): I went in expecting to love it as much as I did with When Dimple Met Rishi but I didn’t. First, I adored the format which is told in journal/letter style to Twinkle’s favorite film directors. Yet, Twinkle didn’t see the error of her ways until almost never. Although realistic and unexpected, it just wasn’t what I wanted at the time.


Stepsister by Jennifer Donnelly (3 stars): Here I was expecting a dark reimagining of what happened after Cinderella becomes a princess. Stepsister follows the ugly stepsisters. And its borderline middle grade tone took away most of the darkness. The book went for a much lighter, whimsical tale which is not what I expected.

The Essential Pantry by Maggie Green (3 stars): The concept of this cookbook is what truly caught my eye. Green lists things that are essential to keep in your pantry and then gives several recipes that utilizes items found in that pantry. The recipes were simple and basic, nothing unique.

A Thousand Beginnings and Endings edited by Ellen Oh and Elsie Chapman (3 stars): This was the group book for the Asian Readathon that took place this month. It’s a short story collection based on Asian folklore and myths. As with most short stories I read, some of them were amazing and easily were 5 stars where others were just okay.


Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover (4 stars): My first Colleen Hoover book and I loved it! Something that really blew me away was how Hoover worked with a real-life singer to bring the lyrics written in the book to life. Readers can listen to the music from the book; how cool is that?

Never Have I Ever: My Life (So Far) Without a Date by Katie Heaney (3 stars): Another just okay book. It was a quick, fast read. The writing was funny and snarky, at times. But for some reason, I couldn’t get into it.

Death Comes to Pemberley by P. D. James (3 stars): I’m happy I read this, having had it on my shelf forever. So now I can finally watch the TV show. However, I don’t think the mystery held much weight. In fact there was little mystery conducted as everyone just assumed that the one obvious suspect was to blame. Ugh.


Fullmetal Alchemist (3-in-1 Edition), Vol. 6 by Hiromu Arakawa (4 stars): I’m slowly making my way through the series. It’s great! These characters, the brothers’ relationship, the huge cast, and the writing makes every one of these a page turner.

Serious Moonlight by Jenn Bennett (4 stars): The story hooks readers to the end and beyond. Serious Moonlight was a fun story filled with intricate characters, a detailed setting, and an unpredictable mystery. I will definitely be reading more from Bennett in the future.

The Domestic Geek’s Meals Made Easy by Sara Lynn Cauchon (4 stars): I follow The Domestic Geek on Youtube where Cauchon creates wonderful, healthy dishes. It was a good cookbook and I can’t wait to try some of her recipes. Plus, the beautiful pictures throughout make my mouth water.


Ghosts of the Shadow Market by Cassandra Clare (6/4/19): Take all my money. I may not have read the latest books from her but you can bet that they will be waiting for me on my shelf.

Teeth in the Mist by Dawn Kurtagich (6/11/19): I know very little about this one but going in to Kurtagich’s work knowing little is the best way to go about it. There’s an unholy pact that bring together three woman from different time periods. It’s going to be creepy and if it’s anything like her first two books, The Dead House and And the Trees Crept In, it will be fantastic!

Hungry Hearts: 13 Tales of Food & Love edited by Elsie Chapman and Caroline Tung Richmond (6/18/19): This one sounds so great; it’s making me hungry just thinking about it. Hungry Hearts is a short story collection that revolves around food and culture. Delicious!



After marathoning all those Marvel movies last month for the release of Avengers: End Game, I took a short break on all the movie watching for a bit. I’ve been working my way through Black Mirror Season 4. I didn’t realize there was going to be a 5th season and the release is next month! It’s a great show and as much as I don’t think season 4 is particularly strong, it’s still quite entertaining. Also, I had promised my dad that I would go with him to see John Wick 3 (never having before seen the first or second in the series). It was literal non-stop action with minimal storyline which is not for me. To balance that out, I saw Aladdin which was great!

aladdin 2019 GIF

How was your May? Did you read any amazing books? Did you watch any fantastic shows/movies?